BY SAMIE WAIKORI
MANAWAI Communities in East Are Are hosted partners and communities to the celebration of the World Environment Day 2021, recently held at the Manawai Community High School.
The international day was celebrated with the theme: “Ecosystem Restoration” relying key message of taking “a step to heal what we have broken.”
In a statement from General Secretary of Solomon Islands Rangers Association and Coordinator of Ahetaha Water Conservation Association (AWCA), Eddie Huitarau World Environment Day is a global event observed on 5th June every year to raise awareness on the environment and the damages caused by human activities to it.
“More importantly, it is a day that makes us feel more accountable for the environmental harm we do. A day we seek to generate a sense of responsibility towards the environment.
“The theme for the celebration serves to mean: preventing, halting and retreating the damage caused by human activities and finally healing our nature.
“So, in our small ways as stakeholders and partners let’s take steps to heal what we have broken in order to celebrate the day meaningfully with the theme.
“This is very important because a lot of human activities taking place in the rural communities are very destructive and causes threat to the ecosystems including the forest, mangrove, ocean, reef, freshwater that provide services to our communities.
“It is a well-known fact that the unsustainable consumption of natural resources by our human activities have significantly damaged the environment and the degradation is still going on at a fast pace,” he said.
Deputy Principal of Manawai CHS, Slade Ririmae said the celebration is a history in the making and the first of its kind to gather neighbouring communities from Foulofo to Maroupaina and communities within Manawai to be part of the celebration.
He said Manawai School is also venturing into new networks apart from its usually educational program and its participation in the celebration indicates a sign of growth in understanding the importance of the environment.
Ririmae said the celebration is important for the communities since community conservation initiatives have been established by tribal groups within Manawai Harbour.
He said the celebration will make people understand the importance of their relationships with the environment and see environment as everyone’s responsibility.
Huitarau highlighted that the day provided the school and participating communities an opportunity to grasp new insights and be part of a global event for the first time.
He said the school has involved its students to plant mangrove trees to contribute to marking the day.
Ririmae again said the school’s participation in the program has shown the initiative they took in partnership with AWCA, and TTLCA, SIRA, and SICAN.
“As custodians, we all aware that the biodiversity within our locality is continuously under pressure from habitat destruction, overexploitation, waste pollution, invasive species and climate change.
“Therefore, as a network we face these threats with common concern to keep our natural environment intact to equally benefit our current and future generations and all the organisms that live in these areas,” he said.
On that note, School Principal of Manawai CHS, Sonny Sipora acknowledged all donor partners, stakeholders, and surrounding communities and the Oxfam’s DFAT funded PACCIL project as the major sponsor of the event.